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Iranian Authorities Arrest Some 30 Women's Rights Protesters

  • VOA News

Iranian authorities have arrested some 30 women's rights activists outside a courthouse in Tehran.

Reports from Iran say the women were protesting in solidarity with five other female activists whose trial was getting underway in the Iranian capital.

The five are accused of acting against national security by participating in an illegal gathering last June. That demonstration was to protest laws that discriminate against Iranian women.

A rights group, Human Rights Watch, has urged Iran to drop the case against the women, saying freedom of assembly is guaranteed under international and Iranian law.

Separately, Iran says it has arrested several Iranian journalists, charging their work was aimed at fueling ethnic divisions in the country.

Iran's intelligence ministry has not named the journalists who were detained.

A ministry statement says the journalists admitted they were receiving U.S. dollars from abroad to publish articles aimed at partitioning Iran. The ministry did not say where the money was coming from.

Iran's largest ethnic minorities include Kurds, Arabs, Azeris and Baluchis. Human rights groups have criticized Iran for suppressing the rights of its ethnic minorities.

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